A Tour of Celtic Ruins

whitby_abbey_060615
Whitby Abbey (North Yorkshire, England)

We being our tour at Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire, built in 657 AD. It was originally named “Streoneshalh”(translation: “Fort Bay”) in reference to an earlier Roman settlement at the site. The monastery was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540 AD and the ruins are now maintained by the English Heritage Trust. Whitby Abbey sustained damaged during WW1 and was also famously featured in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula. Among the notable burials at the site are two kings, Osqiu of Northumbria and Edwin of Deira, a crusader, Sir William de Percy, and a signatory of the Magna Carta, Sir Richard de Percy.

kellsp3
Kells Priory (Kells, Ireland)

Next stop, Kells Priory, south of the medieval city of Kilkenny in Ireland. This monastery was founded in 1193 AD and is surrounded by medieval tower houses that give it the look of a fortress.

kells_priory2c_kells2c_county_kilkenny_-_geograph-org-uk_-_34260
Kells Priory, as seen from above (Dave Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)

During it’s first 150 years, the structure was attacked and burned on three occasions. Recent excavations have uncovered over 10,000 archeological finds including floor tiles and painted window glass.

beehive_hut
Domes at Skellig Michael, County Kerry, Ireland (By Katzegoesireland via Wikimedia Commons)

We must travel by boat to see our last stop on this short journey, Skellig Michael. This monastary was built by monks on rocky isolated islands in the 6th century.

skellig_michael_2014
Skellig Michael in 2014 (by Niki.L via Wikimedia Commons)

The monastery at Skellig Michael had a self-contained water collection and purifaction system, and was believed to host no more than 12 monks at a time. There was also a Viking attack in 823 AD.

These beautiful ruins are a small snippet compared to the riches of historical sites to be found in the ancient celtic lands. I love the greenery and I’m imagining grazing fluffy sheep dotting the horizon – although I’m glad to have a cozy blanket in the winter looking at the cold stone ruins where so many monks made their homes so long ago!

If you like to time travel in your daydreams, visit us at FinerThingsBox.com and subscribe to our bi-monthly subscription box dedicated to bringing the past to life!

 

To read more about these historic sites and others:

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/whitby-abbey/history/

http://kells.frantzen.de/index.htm

http://www.frommers.com/slideshows/818164-best-celtic-ruins-and-ancient-sites-in-ireland

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s